About this Show

Book TV

Andrew Roberts Education. (2011) Andrew Roberts ('The Storm of War A New History of the Second World War.') New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 100 (651 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Russia 9, America 7, Nazis 6, London 6, Britain 5, Us 5, Roberts 4, Manhattan 4, Andrew Roberts 3, Berlin 3, France 3, Germany 3, Malcolm 2, Betty Shabazz 2, United Kingdom 2, Michelle Obama 2, Churchill 2, North Africa 2, Poland 2, Hitler 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Book TV    Andrew Roberts  Education.  (2011) Andrew Roberts ('The  
   Storm of War A New History of the Second World War.') New.  

    July 2, 2011
    9:00 - 10:00pm EDT  

9:00pm
possibility is that we have all we have had extraordinary imagination and do you know what? grandma died a slave anyway despite the fact that she knew herself to be a human being loved by god. what i know is that malcolm x's autobiography is this powerful text that unless you were holding it in front of you when they shoot at you, it is insufficient. it is perhaps important but always insufficient so i suppose what i wanted to take away from it is that the work that we have to do is structural work. the ideas are critically important. we need the ideas. i'm afraid about are bad ideas. i'm afraid when we have ideas that say the best way to liberate yourself as a woman is to become betty shabazz or michelle obama and attach yourself to an important man. the part i love about this book that deconstructs that idea because you realize how much suffering she experiences so we can love her and also not have
9:01pm
to tell her daughters to be that. ideas matter. they matter critically but in the end the fact that even if i don't want to be michelle obama or don't want to be betty shabazz isthmus i have equal pay for equal work and reasonable capacity to control my fertility, because one of the reasons women -- they couldn't control their fertility because there was no ability technically technically -- if i don't have health coverage. i would love barack to spitfire but what i am more interested in as i can look and see policy is policies fundamentally different. ..
9:02pm
>> if god loves us, then you cannot continue to treat me as though i am not. [applause] [applause] >> as we close the evening, i want to thank everybody for being here, for writing the book, the man, the scholar, malcolm x life of reinvention, melissa perry, thank you all for taking time tonight. thank you to all of you. [applause] thank you to all of you for coming tonight. [applause] thank you, c-span, for covering it. it will be on ena next week and you can download it and get all the information you need on all
9:03pm
of our guests and the work they are doing. thank you all for coming out tonight. >>manning passed away at the age of 60s, days before the publication of malcolm x. he was the director of the project at columbia jufort. visit columbia.edu srb cu cu/ccbh/mxp. >> what are you reading? >> it's a small book, tremendous wisdom for today, reading an enpsych la peed ya and the digital commons by david, and a recent best seller which i have
9:04pm
not got to fully reading called the black swan. >> visit booktv.org to see this and other reading lists. >> now on booktv, the storm of war. andrew roberts examines the entire expanse of the war resulting in the deaths of 50 million people and the financial costs of $1.5 trillion. this is about an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everyone. if i could have your attention, we'll get started. we're here to mark the publication of andrew roberts latest book. i'm the president of manhattan institute, and it's my pleasure to introduce roger hetzog
9:05pm
tonight. he's one of the founding partners of the firm. the gold standards of investment research shops on wall street and served at the firm's president before the merger with alliance capital management in 2000 and retired from its successor company in 2006. for ten years, i was privileged to work with roger when he was chairman of the manhattan institute. his energy and brilliance helped to bring the institution's influence to a whole new level. he served as chairman of the new york historical society, also experienced a renaissance under his leadership. for his endeavors, he was awarded the medal in 2007 and the prize for philanthropic leadership in 2010. he's a reader and passionate student of history.
9:06pm
please join me in welcoming roger hertzog. [applause] >> you can all leave now. [laughter] first of all, thank you, all, for coming. it's a great honor having all of you guys here. this is one of those continued evening, late afternoon programs at the manhattan program put on for years and years, and it's something i think that brings together many different people around this town. as you know, the institute is principally a think tank, but these programs also honor authors. authors that produced works in public policy, but also produced great work in history, and that's what we're here tonight to talk about. a great historian, someone who,
9:07pm
when i think of it i would say is not an ordinary historian, it would be in my view the most egregious of understatements to say that andrew roberts doesn't know what the term "writer's block" means. prohibit -- permit me to mention just the last six of his books. proceeding the release we celebrate this evening. see if you can detect a pat tern here. you do not need a degree in forensic accounting. salisbury, the victorian titan, 1999. napolean and wellington, 2001. hitler and churchill, 2003.
9:08pm
waterloo, napolean's last gamble, 2005. a history of the english speaking peoples since 1900, 2006. masters and commanders: how roosevelt, churchill, marshall, and allenbrooke won the war, 2008. and now we have the storm of war, a new history of world war ii which was released in the u.k. and was the number two best seller on the "london times" book review list, and mr. roberts claims to be 48 years old. [laughter] this is up for considerable debate. either he is about 70 with a lifetime backlog of research
9:09pm
that aloes him to -- allows him to put out a new book every year or two, or he runs an empire called roberts inc.an intellectual print shop. there appear to be no other explanations for this level of productivity in terms of his output. like all andrew roberts books, i never bought them and got a discount -- [laughter] this one is a page turner. this gives us the viewpoint of hitler and his generals, and andrew is trying to answer the really big question to this haunted historian and many others for the last 70 years.
9:10pm
why did germany lose the war? was it the superiority of the allied powers? was it strategic errors on hitler's part? in fact, what all of his leer's -- hilt leer's advantages, how could he have ever possibly lost this war? andrew robert's great contribution is to let us participate in effect in a grand strategy course on hitler and his generals. of all the books publishes on world war ii, none before have viewed it from this perspective alone. it is an absolutely intriguing story, and i urge you all to get yourself a copy. surprisingly, there's copies for sale on the corner on the left here, but first before you rush out to by this copy, first a few
9:11pm
words from the great historian himself, and, yes, he does turn out to be a young one. andrew reports. -- andrew roberts. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, it's a great honor to be invited to address you this evening, and thank you very much indeed for those kind words. it's perfectly true my book got to number two on the best seller list. they know me by michael jackson. [laughter] there we go. i'd like to preface my remarks what an honor it is to be in the manhattan institute. on the way out here, in fact, just as i was listening to the radio news, it had a reference to works and research done by the manhattan institute, and
9:12pm
that's -- that is pretty fantastic knowing that you are firing on all cylinders in the way that you are. in the course of researching and writing on the second world war that i've been doing for the last 20 years, but specifically for my last book, "the tomorrow of war," i have come to the conclusion that the real reason hitler lost the war, even though he could have won it, was because he consistently put not his ideology before the best interests of the german reich. every time there was a diversion of the ways between his fascist fa -- fa gnattics, he always went the nazi route, and that's the
9:13pm
underlying for his defeat. you see it in the very start of the war with finland and scandinavia. he was allowing those generals who had a greater grasp than he and he listened to those specifically in the case of the maneuver that took the german army into the channel ports by mid-may 1940, but after that, he started to believe his own propaganda, the idea he was the greatest war lord of all time. this was part of the furh concept and that they were always right and an essential key and was the idea because
9:14pm
britain and germany were both races, they would not go to war. it's an absurdity on so many levels, but he himself served in the trenches in the great war when they helped one another, but nonetheless, when the second world war broke out, there were 46 operational u boats with the united kingdom. by the end of the war, there were 463, most bottled up in the baltic, but if he started the world war with as many boats as he finished it, he would have been able to strangle the united kingdom, and the clans to invade the united king doll, many of which were not agreed up until september 1940 when really they ought to have been put into place when they came into power in 1933.
9:15pm
one appreciates how little he was expected to have to attack. there is the infamous list of 2,820 britains who would be shot on sight by the ss when the germans successfully invaded. in that list you see sigmund freud and huxley who came to live in america in 1936, and there were others of that kind. indeed, when rebecca west and nick howard found out they were on the list, rebecca west sent a telegram saying, my dear, the people we should have been seen dead with -- [laughter] on the 25th of august 1940, a loan 111, which was lost was
9:16pm
turned out, dropped its bombs on the city of london, the first actual bombing in london. it came at a vital time. up until that period, they were focused on the aerodrones of england, portland, and they had smashed the art -- modern communication systems, smashed the control systems, turned most of the actual runways into a -- into a series of craters, and so as a result had they continued to do this, there was a chance the raf would have been able to fled in the battle of britain and eventually the blitz, but such is the power of the principle that he was infallible and ordered an all-out rage on london on the 17th of september and moved the con cement of the --
9:17pm
concept of the attack from the aerodrones to the cities, and the result, specifically, was the east end of london, and as a result, the raf was able to patch up the holes in the runways and get the command and control systems running up again. here again, ideology was given precedence in the aid of the best interest of the rech. you then see with the invasion of russia a massive attack, over 3 million men attacking on the 22nd of june 1941, again, driven by ideology. the timing was wrong. there were only four or five months of the rains and then six months of the winter, the snows of russia, but because half of europe lived in the ussr in 1941, because he had been waiting for and trying to get a
9:18pm
final, as he called it a final reckoning with the baltics and because he wanted them around for the master race over the subhuman slavs who he believed would not be able to put up more than five months of fighting. he said he would kick down the door and the rotten would fall down. he released this ideology driven assault on russia. in the beginning, of course, it was an amazing success. on the first day of the operation, half of the soviet armerred force was destroyed on the ground. the commander shot himself that afternoon which in stalin's russia was a sensible career move.
9:19pm
[laughter] again, however, through the -- through the subtle russia, it doesn't place ideology before the best interest. he continually moved around generallings who he didn't feel he could trust politically. one was sacked more than four times in the course of the war, and menstein and others were stacked once or twice. general was moved to four different commands in the course of 1944 alone, and really second rate generals, men like cribs and others were promoted even though they were not as good of generals because they were not fanatical nazis. you have the question why it was that the germans were so
9:20pm
unprepared for the winter of 1941 and of course 1942. i believe that, too, the lack of winter clothing can be put down to hitler's absurd racial theories of racial superiority, of the idea that they would not be able to fight as well as the germans, and this is a quotation from something he said at the garden at sup ere on the 12th of august 1942. hitler said this, that haughtiness of the master race when it came to this -- "having to change into long trousers was always a misery to me even when it's ten below zero, the feeling of freedom they give you is wonderful. abandoning my shorts was one the
9:21pm
biggest sacrifices i had to make. anything up to five degrees below zero, i didn't notice. quite a number of young people wear shorts all year round. it's a question of habit. in the future, i'll have an ss brigade." needless to say as a result of the on occasion the minus 40 degree temperatures they faced in russia, utter disaster overtook them quite apart from obviously the incredible russian people and the russian army. one goes to stalin, you can see buildings where there's quite literally not a single brick that doesn't have a bullet hole in it, and the effect of the cold was completely devastating. this is a interpretation from an
9:22pm
italian journalist who was in the cafe in warsaw, it's still there, in fact, across from the railway station, when he saw the german wounded coming off the railway. he said, "suddenly i was struck with horror and realized they had no idea. i had seen soldiers with lidless eyes on the station a few days previously. the ghastly cold of that winter had the strangest consequences. thousands and thousands of soldiers had limbs, ears, noses, fingers and their sexual organs ripped off by the frost. many lost hands and eyelids singed by the cold and it dropped off like dead skin, and their fiduciary was only --
9:23pm
because the idea they couldn't be trusted ever, they were never able to give the proper amount of authority to the ukrainians and others, those who helped them if they managed to bring them over the campaign. again, ideology. then when you see the decision to declare war against america on the 11th of december 1941, four days after pearl harbor, something they didn't need to do because they had no treaty obligations to do this, once again you see ideology playing a massive part. the only nazi heard, significant leader who had ever been to america, the foreign secretary, had spent four years here trying unsuccessfully to sell champaigne in the 1920s.
9:24pm
that was nevertheless by the rest of the nazis who had never been here to be a great expert. he said because america was run by jews and by african americans, therefore, they couldn't possibly get together an army to land in western europe until the 1970s. he obviously did not look carefully at the makeup of the roosevelt administration. [laughter] this is what -- this is what he said -- this is what he told the delegation of battalions in 1942 about the americans. he said this, "i know the country, a country devoid of culture, music, above all, a country without soldiers, a people who will never decide the war from the air. a jewish nation like that ever become a race of fighters and fighting aces?"
9:25pm
the fact was needless to say we landed a quarter of a million men in november of 1942, and started to captured as many actors, forces, as were captured stating that three months previously. in the calendar year of 1944 when the germans produced 40,000 war planes and russia another 40,000 and britain another 28,000, in that same year, the united states produced no fewer than 98,000 war planes, almost as much as the rest of the world put together. it's an uninvadeble country. it was obviously an act of lunatic hubris to have declared war against you up necessarily in 1941, and it was done for ideological reasons.
9:26pm
equally, the complete lack of coordination with japan is an astonishing in hitler's strategic vision. had the japanese attacked from the east at the same time that he was attacking from the west in june 1941, there's a bigger chance in the october of that year, the 16 sigh -- siberia divisions couldn't have defended moscow at that point on the 16th of 1941, stalin made ready to take him back to -- which imagine the moralization of the soviet union. he didn't do it in the end. the germans got within 40 miles of the subway system. it was incredibly placed. up in the north, the siege of
9:27pm
lennongrad cost the soviets 1.1 million people killed and people arrested for cannibalism. they went to the levels sooner than give up, and then, of course the battle, and yet he failed to coordinate with japan mostly because even back in 1934 -- 1937 at the time of the pact, he claims that japanese were another people. he got his anthropologist out, and they got calibers out and measured the sizes of japanese skulls to prove japanese were aliens. nonetheless, when it came to the war, they basically fought two completely separate wars and didn't get as far to exchange
9:28pm
guns and then there's the holocaust, but, it was again, a concept error to try to wipe out the jews while trying to fight a war on two fronts, and when one just looks at the statistics between 1939 and 1944, the number of people working in german factories collapsed from 39,000, and yes, 39 million to 29 million, a drop of over 25%. exactly the same time wiping out 6 million of his most intelligent, hard working, productive, and well-educated people. it made no sense whatsoever and only seen in terms of ideology. he knew perfectly well, in fact,
9:29pm
that the jews would have fought incredibly well. in the first world war, it was procured by him from the regimen who was jewish and, of course, ultimately, the second world war ended because of the use of the invention that was largely created as a result of the brilliant scientific minds of many of the jews who had left germany. he also lost that particular great weapon as well. i want to view winston churchill's military secretary system, william jacob, and he said, i think we won the war, and i often just come back to the realization that it was because our german scientists were cleverer than their german
9:30pm
scientists. [laughter] this can be proved statistically. the number of nobel prize winners in that scientific subject between 1901 and hitler coming to power in 1933, the number was 25 german nobel prizes to five american. as a result of the great brain drain that came of hitler between 1950 and the yeah 2000 when germany won 16 nobel prizes, america won 67. we come back, and hitler, himself, is going to be questioned again here to the question of why the actors lost the war, and on the 4th of february 1942, again, entertaining hitler, the
9:31pm
conversation got around to shakespeare of all things. it was probably to hamlet when hitler said it was a "misfortune that none of the great writers took the subjects in imperial history. nothing to do better than glorify a swiss cross moment. epg lish had shakespeare, but the history of the country supplied shakespeare." very often, these are the explanations people just say he was stupid, too much from a general to intellectual to win the war. this is not the case. we saw in the beginning of the war. he had stunning victories. it was won within three weeks to
9:32pm
allow the regimes to have -- generals to have their heads. the closest thing you would say is in his amazing knowledge of the calibers of weapons and the gauges of railway tracks and so on and the weight of tanks and the speed of jets, he was a bit of a trained spotter. that's the closest i think, but not ignorant by any means. he was mad at the end of his life knowing he was going to die the last three months of his life from february 1945, there was no way out, and, then, yes, he acted irrationally. i don't believe it either in his stupidity or his ludicayy.
9:33pm
they lost because hitler was a fanatical nazi. thank you very much. [applause] >> just ask you when acknowledged, wait for the microphone so the c-span add -- audience can hear the question as well and identify yourself. any questions? sir? >> the question i've got is his lead in missile technology v-2, v-1, struck me that the year before would have changed the balance, what -- >> yes, begs the question. there's a lot of caveats in the
9:34pm
second world war, and that's, of course, the classic one did have the allies. very fortunately though, hitler kept changing his mind being jet technology, and he changed the 62 to be a bomber to a fighter which involved enormous amounts of delocation and bottlenecks and he would do this many years of projects, in fact, and other than being iron will which the nazis constantly projected him as, in fact, he changed his mind an awful lot, and we're very fortunate that he did. sir?
9:35pm
>> how deep in the german people did that nazi fanatics go or was it a situation where most of the people were simply doing what they had to do for fear of, you know, fear of being executed or going to prison, but how deep did the nazi ideology go? >> well, you see from the fanatical resistance in 1945, especially amongst the youth, that those people who had 12 years of the nazi ideology shoved down their throats since childhood since 1933 would believe it and act on it and thought the last army that hitler put into the field, the 16-year-olds and 15-year-olds, and some 14-year-olds in the
9:36pm
battle of berlin. these people had listened their entire lives listening to the fascism, and so it was not surprising that they were imbued with it. not true though for the military nazi scale. it was not until the 20th of july 1944 that they let off a bomb successfully, the german generals let off a bomb successfully, but they tried on earlier occasions, and although they are obviously tremendously brave and fan tasically courageous group of people particularly involved in that bomb plot, play in large the german officer corp., staff, and the general generals themselves were a very ambitious group who were quite willing to
9:37pm
outmaneuver each other and willing to jump into each other's places. they took large amounts of cash, straightforward money to hitler from states and so on. there was a side as well as a moral cowardness to quite a lot of the german generals which i go into in some detail in this book. gentleman in the back now. >> [inaudible] >> you raised a question in the literature of this talk about why they were held back. i was curious -- >> yeah, thank you for mentioning that. >> what was the question? >> why on the 24th of may 1940, 71 years ago today it as it turns out, were the ponzas who
9:38pm
virtually surrounded the town and were on the town, given the order, the nor -- notorious order which then they didn't go down into the town allowed the british expedition force call for a million men and then some 80,000 french to escape. it was finally counted on the 28th of may, and by that stage, the evacuation started. well, many historians have given many different answers. one answer, though, that i -- one argument that i believe that i have comprehensively disproved with new information in this book which i'm going to display because you should always display the product -- [laughter]
9:39pm
is that when the conspiracy theorists tell us that he deliberately allowed the british army to escape because he wanted to make some kind of peace deal with britain or appease the british government, and in the course of the search of this book, i came across a letter in a completely new archive, a business in england who has 100,000 papers, documents, diaries, and letters and photographs never seen by any historians before before me, and it's hard for historians to get into something like that, and then you're a child in a sweet shop. one of the letters i found was from the commander of the military operations of the -- in the hitler head quarters who was writing to say on the 24th of may that he believed that the
9:40pm
fuir who is totally confident there's no way the british can escape, and he's going to scoop up the british expedition force. the wording is in the book, of course, and i think this completely underminds the idea that they wanted the british to escape. he would have been in a far stronger position in terms of peace negotiations if he had managed to capture the british army. the real reasons to come back to your question, the real reason why he supported signing the court order against the pleadings of men like ronald and clyst was that having fought in the first world war, he knew 14 days, two weeks, of continuous
9:41pm
fighting was exhausting for any troops. he committed armor in poland and found in the built up areas they took a heavy toll, easily the most -- the least defended part of a tank is its roof, and so they said attack from the above in built up areas. they feared the dikes were going to be flooded and that he could have lost armor like that and they also feared a french counterattack from the north which never materialized, but nonetheless, it could happen so for these reasons and probably some others that historians came up with, he put out this order, and it took four days before he realized how disastrous it was promised that he was going to be able to destroy the force in the air and no ships were going to take out the troops from the
9:42pm
beaches anyhow. one thinks we lost nine destroyers and two cruisers, certainly one cruisers in the campaign. it was tremendously expensive in a naval sense as well. >> the remarkable contribution of the soviet on the eastern front to victory in terms of the allied powers and you quote a series of statistics in there that a quite revealing. >> yes. i think one of the statistics is probably the most -- in my view, the central to the second world war. for every five germans killed in
9:43pm
combat, not people bombed from the air, but german soldiers killed on the ground on the battlefield, for every five of them, four were killed on the eastern front. what britain, america, canada, and the rest were doing was effectively killing the 5th german and we did other things vital to do with keeping the sea lanes open, landing in north africa, italy, and obviously d-day, keeping russia in the war by massive land lease operation to them and then vitally also through the combined bomber offensive keeping 70% in the west protecting their cities which, of course, had that not happened, would have been able to be used in the east against moscow and stalingrad and the
9:44pm
battle by kurst, but we have to acknowledge the fact for every american who died in the world war, 90 russians died. >> sir, you may have, of course, have a number of ide loming call -- ideological elements that entered into major episodes and may jr. themes, -- major themes. i'm wondering whether it was really, really close. in other words, he didn't have to do all of these and were there one or two that in the absence of them, he would have won the war, thinking in particular, of course, not just of the russian escapade, but the north african campaign and perhaps a different way of approaching or good luck in stead of bad luck on the beaches of normandy in 1944. >> very good question.
9:45pm
i think had he devoted a fraction of the 3 million men that he unleashed against the russians in june 1941, he had sent a fraction of those down to north africa, he would have flung britain off the srb certainly out of egypt. we had skeleton forces in iran and iraq at that time, and he would have been able to account for 80% of the oil. the expense both in terms of blood and treasure getting oil across from america was enormous at the time of the battle because in january of 1942, the germans added to the enigma machine meaning our decrypts turned into gobbleygook.
9:46pm
later they broke into the german codes, and in that time, the sinkings of the merchant and naval vessels strengthened. yes, he had then be able to clear up the middle east, he would have been able to have attacked from iran into the caucuses and only gone a fraction of the distance that he needed in order to cut stalin off from 80% of his oil that rather than coming all the way across from poland so yes plenty of alternative strategies. the other one mentioned with d-day is more problematic because yet he had divisions close to the beaches which could have caused a massive dislocation of the attack,
9:47pm
however, when one looks at the superiority they had in 1944, when they were able to fly in 319 forces that day, the allies flew 13,688 so, you know, however well your armor might do, if you have tanks taken out from the air, then it pretty much is an open and shut case, so gentleman in the front. >> michael goodwin. you draw a distinction in the early years between what you call ideological or fanatics and ludacy in the end of his life. we look at his whole life as a
9:48pm
madman. how are you describing ideology in a way that is not maddening from our current understanding? >> yes, that's also a good question. i think -- i don't see him as a madman from the beginning of his career onwards. i see him as a particularly vicious-minded adventurer who always doubled the stakes whenever the crisis moment came who granted every opportunity, the ultimate opportunist, and he's completely without principle, and you can get quite far in a country which has been ravaged by the great depression and which has this concept with regard to its defeat in the great war, but what i did think is that had a german nationalist, more conservative
9:49pm
german nationalist, somebody who was a bismarck figure, he could have grabbed the same thing in absolute power, but i don't think he would have made all the mistakes that hitler did by constantly pushing principles to fall before germany's best interest. gentleman in the back now. >> i'd like to follow-up on the question about the extent to which the german people were come -- complacent. coming back from berlin, i was blown away by which the extent the government is a regime, everything about the final solution, the holocaust is basically saying this is not
9:50pm
nazis. to me it was mind boggling to saying the german people really supported the nazis. it was not just fear of retribution. i'm interested in your comment as to the extent to which the german government today is correct in blaming not just the nazi, the idealists, the hitlers, but the whole population? >> i agree whole heartedly and it's great to say it, but the fact is that there was -- there was coercion obviously, but little political coercion of the poles to get those majorities that hitler won. the -- you have to look the the footage of the numbers of of people who turn out to congratulate him after his return from france in june 1940,
9:51pm
millions of people on the streets. it's next to impossible for a regime to turn out millions of people on the streets if they don't want to go, and so on every level when one reads the works of other historians who appreciate that on pretty much every level of public opinion that it's able to quantity my -- quantify it, he was popular. of course he was. look what he delivered in germany in terms of utter victory to defeat france which cost germany the first world war and hundreds of thousands killed in four years to defeat france and have them declare in six weeks or seven weeks into the campaign to have -- as i said earlier, just gone straight
9:52pm
through yugoslavia and greece. these were unbelievable victories not seen on the european continent since earlier. it is understandable why a people who also, as we know, have a long, long history of anti-semitism anyhow were seduced by this man. the interesting thing is how long, i suppose once you enter a world war, it's your duty to support the government anyhow. that had that something that's seen across democratic nations as well as protoal tearian ones and so it doesn't surprise me at all the that -- fanatics you get by 1945 especially amongst the people who are not, you know, a lot of unthinking people.
9:53pm
the thoughtful ones start to slip away from naziism before the train hits the buffers. in the front here. >> hi, i have a question about your ideas about the origins of hitlers anti-semitism. how much of it was he was deeply antisemimettic versus an opportunist to amass great power. >> great question and one that is heated in debate. where are the roots of his anti-semitism, and there's so much work done on this and so many books. people say hitler became an antisemiist through disease of
9:54pm
prostitute. his mother's doctor who failed to diagnosis cancer was jewish, turned down by the overwhelmingly jewish artists in his youth. he was -- any number of sort of sexual psycho reasons which none of which hold any kind of water decently whatsoever. the fact was though that the fifth great track he read where he left the trenches and before he went into the trenches, seemed to have affected his view of this. there is a long history of anti-semitism anyhow, and then, yes, you're right, he realized how useful it was for him
9:55pm
politically, but this cannot just have been opportunism, because if it was, he would have done it in 1933 and would not have taken all the risks he did in order to wipe out so much of european jury. that was something that came from him that no example of any nazi ever suffering any career set back by not being utterly fanatical fanatical and genocide towards the jews. he was the worst l all nazis and so it doesn't imply opportunism but a deep fanatical life on hatred. where it comes from is reading literature when he was a
9:56pm
teenager and in the trenches and immediately afterwards. gentleman in the back there. >> report the atlas economic research foundation. thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge with us this evening. my question is not what about you know, but what you wish you knew. what are the holy grails that you don't know about world war two that you hope to find a document that says, oh, we have the answer to that now. >> great question. one of the classic mysteries is the -- [inaudible] i was one the first people into the british public records office when 50 years after the flight in 1991, they opened up the papers, and we were allowed to read the lord chancellor
9:57pm
interview veer -- verbatim transscripts. it taught us nothing. yes, he wanted britain to change sides and fight against which of course allowed them to appreciate all the information that he had been hearing about coming attack on russia was true though he did not give away the dates, but you know, was it really just that he was -- he saw himself being outmaneuvered and therefore wanted to do one desperate thing in order to try to bring the one peace that he knew the fuhrer wanted. on the western stage would have been up valuable. 70% could have been used against the russians.
9:58pm
was it just a mad cat thing, might he started that the nazis were not going to win and he had to be in the tower of london rather than berlin. any number of reasons so it would be nice to have a little handwritten diary note on the night of may 19, 1941. i'm getting into the plane off to scotland because -- that would have been tremendously helpful. [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> thank you very much indeed. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> historian andrew roberts on booktv. visit the author's website andrew-roberts.net. >> what are you reading this summer in book tvments to know. >> first book on my reading list this spring and summer was
9:59pm
kleopatra, and what a great insight in recounting her life. it was a book recommended to me, and so i decided to pick it up and read it and then continued with the strong woman theme if you will with elizabeth the first, and that's on my ipad, i'm reading these both as e-books. going back doing these two, it got me on to the historical and older novel type approach and with my bible study group, i'm rereading pilgrim's progress which is delightful to get back into that. it's been awhile since i've reread it and because there's a movie coming up, i, with my family, we're rereading atlas which is very tel